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Friendship Begins At Home

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Friendship Begins At Home

Published 1949

How a strong family group helps teenagers learn to form strong friendships.

Run time 15:01
Producer Coronet Instructional Films
Sponsor N/A
Audio/Visual Sd, B&W


Shows that although the adolescent grows away from his family, he benefits by valuing the importance of their friendship and of doing things as a family group.
Ken Smith sez: Barry is a teenager who doesn't appreciate his family. "Everybody's always picking on me," he whines. "I declare, Barry," replies mom. "I do wish you'd show as much consideration for the members of your own family as you do for your outside friends!" "Maybe I would," he snorts, "if my family'd show me as much consideration as my friends do!"
Barry decides to be a brat and not accompany his family on their annual two-week fishing trip. "I'd rather stay here with my friends," he mutters, sulking. "Don't you consider your FAMILY your friends?" asks kid sister Diana. "How can a guy be friends with his family?" Barry snaps back. But dad is agreeable; Barry is left money for food and the family departs. "We're going away to have FUN," dad declares.
Barry's first few hours of freedom are glorious, but he quickly discovers that his "friends" aren't as dependable as his family. George won't invite him over for dinner (Barry eats canned beans and soup for two weeks). Heartthrob Lorraine gets sick and cancels her party. The rest of Barry's friends are either away, working, or on vacation (with THEIR families, no doubt). This mid-section of the film is a thespian tour-de-force for Barry, as his non-stop internal sentence fragment monologue takes the place of a narration, saying things that no outside VO could get away with. The Coronet "wistful" theme builds as the camera dollies in for CUs of Barry at critical points; he affects these moments of deep thought by suddenly raising his head, narrowing his eyes, and looking up and off-camera at a 45 degree angle.
"Why haven't any of my friends called me?" he muses. "Not much fun spending the day alone." (NOTE: No TV in Barry's home) "Nobody to do things with. What are friends FOR, anyway?" Though Barry is a "free man," his friends can't match the "thoughtfulness" of his family. "I never before listened to an -- empty house," he reflects. And now he's visited by ghosts! -- double-exposure images of his family doing thoughtful things that Barry had, until now, not appreciated. Barry realizes that he probably took away some of his dad's "fun" by staying home. "That's a selfish thing to do," he concludes. Mom offers ice cream, Diana offers to get his suit pressed, and kid brother Dick plaintively asks to play checkers. "Boy," Barry cries, "how I'd like to play checkers with you right now!" "They're swell people!" Barry declares, scales falling from his eyes. "ALL of them! They do the kinds of things you expect of your friends! FRIENDS! That's it!!!"
Now Barry is a changed young man. His family returns to find him scrubbing the kitchen floor ("You know, mother, you never really appreciate your family until they're not around"), he's bought Dick a new tennis raquet ("Gee, Barry, you're swell!"), and he takes his kid sister to a dance when her date backs out ("Wow! Is that my sister? Well -- no WONDER all those fellows telephoned while you were away!").
The gulf between the America that applauded this production and the America that cheered Tom Cruise in Risky Business is what the study of these films is all about.

ghost teen social guidance family friend alone lonel hermit house home vacation safety danger lurks


Reviewer: JayKay49 - favoritefavoritefavorite - February 13, 2013
Subject: Take Lemons and Make Lemonade
Crazy kid. You have a job! Doing something you apparently like to do. You'd a missed that opportunity if you went on that camping trip. Just think, you'll have your own money instead of mooching off the old man. Maybe you'll be able to afford a car. You got the rest of your life to canoodle with the family but a job for a teenager doesn't come along every day. Eat your beans and get over it.

Are you sure that's not your grandmother? Are they hiding something from you?

the acting in this movie is atrocious.
Reviewer: Victor Von Psychotron - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 13, 2012
Subject: Uncomfortable feelings
There are lots of strange things brought up in this short film, particularly how much the main character loves his family. He quickly learns that living on his own doesn't equal a life of partying, and that he can't eat beans all the time. It's unintentionally funny.
Reviewer: Miss_Xanthippe_Svanstrom - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 18, 2012
Subject: Barry Makes a Choice
Thanks again, Coronet, lovely stuff. Enjoyed this one.

Now, for the review: Well, to begin with, I've always been suspicious of people with close-knit families. This may be considered a personal problem by some.


When Barry decided to spurn the holiday with the fam I did thrust my fist in the air and bellow, 'Hurrah!'

Yes, he might've taken care of himself satisfactorily during mum 'n' dad's absence. Alas and alack, his subconscious seems to have been programmed by that old, 'blood is thicker than water' business. And, apparently, his 'friends' are rather rubbishy, insensitive, and duplicitous (is she really ill?). So, despite the job at the mechanic's and time alone for introspection, poor Barry finds himself befuddled, grasping desperately for the only source of identity he knows. Mum, Dad, Brother, Sister. GiGo.

Aren't friends supposed to be 'God's' apology for family? Sigh.

His parents are obviously passive-aggressive... consider the alternative (beatings) and compare.

I do think it was very kind and appropriate for Barry to have done what he did for his bro (racket repair) and sis (party), however. That was very cool.

The age of these films mean nothing to me. If there are helpful hints regarding human interaction, household management, or anything else, I'm all for it--such things are timeless.
Reviewer: Retro Geek - favoritefavoritefavorite - June 19, 2008
Subject: How can a guy be FRIENDS with his family?!?
Barry is a rather whiny teenage boy who would rather stay at home and be with his friends than go on a camping trip with his family. Naturally, the family is devastated, particularly his not-to-well adjusted brother Dick. The exception is Barry's dad who seems quite eager to head out the door without Barry. Probably because he isn't too interested in hearing Barry whine about his friends the whole trip. Barry soon learns that friends aren't all they are cracked up to be when he winds up alone and depressed. He starts having conversations in his head and hallucinating. What was in those can of beans anyway? The rather long story ends with Barry coming to his senses and realizing that maybe his family is all he's got after all. Gee..that's too bad Barry. The family kitchen appears to be a fairly recycled set in Coronet films.
Reviewer: Marysz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 30, 2006
Subject: Grow Up, Barry
Teenager Barry takes a stab at independence by refusing to go on his family's annual camping trip and experiences a disturbing sense of remorse. But why? He gets a job as a mechanic and discovers that he has a real talent for fixing cars (and gets to wear a neat bowtie). Shouldn't he feel proud instead of guilty? What's Barry's real problem? Barry tells us about his regrets in a long stream-of-consciousness monologue that takes up most of the film. Could his guilt-inducing mom be the problem? She tells Barry that he "kind of spoiled" his younger brother Dick's vacation by not coming along. Sure, she's a "swell" cook, but maybe Barry would be better off eating canned beans on his own than having to feel responsible for Dick's emotional well-being. Barry's dad is OK with Barry not going camping with the family, but how will he feel when he learns that Barry likes being a mechanic so much that he's considering not applying to college? Barry is more introspective than most of the simplistic characters types featured in Coronet films. His reservations about himself and his endless (and somewhat boring) ruminations make this film feel almost like an art film--at least, until the end. Barry gives Dick a new tennis racket and takes his sister Diana to a party when her date falls through. Barry might be able to fool his family, but having listened to his solitary ravings, we know there's an odd and conflicted person lurking beneath his wholesome exterior.
Reviewer: ERD - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 9, 2006
Subject: Good wholesome film
This is a good 1949 film that showed youngsters how important it is to appreciate and have a good family relationship. It also shows everyone how important a stable family is. Well acted and directed.
Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavoritefavorite - June 20, 2003
Subject: In The Mouth Of Madness
In what clearly holds the record in the coronet curse of "Listening to the voices in your head telling you what to do" Barry, a teenaged boy, decides not to join his family on vacation, deciding that he wants to hang around the house and with friends.( "I declare!" says his Mom) But as soon as he leaves, his inner voice starts up, and just doesnt let up by telling him what to do, what's wrong and so forth. Pretty soon, Barry (and us) are depressed about his surroundings, and lack of things to do. (we're depressed because we clearly feel Barry is one big loser). After a while of listening to the voices, Barry ultimateley winds up WAXING THE FLOOR WITH HIS BARE HANDS. Soon, thankfully, Barry's family returns. Mother looks at the rag Barry's been cleaning with, but doesnt say anything (actions speak louder then words in her case). While this may SOUND all fun, The-Barry-and-his-voice show DOES get boring after a while, but this is sort of an entertaining short nevertheless.
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